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True North Groups: A Powerful Path to Personal and Leadership Development Paperback – September 1, 2011
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Though it may be difficult for people who aren't business leaders to immediately see the value of the group, they will feel inspired once they do, and after they've bought into the True North message, they can use this helpful book to start their own. - Publishers Weekly
"From Publisher's Weekly"
For years, Harvard Business School professor Bill George ("True North") and corporate executive Doug Baker have been running True North groups. These groups help executives and leaders maintain their personal integrity and ethical compass by allowing them to periodically open up to fellow leaders in a safe environment. Participants share personal challenges, discuss strategies, and provide a support network for each other. Here, the authors provide a step-by-step guide for why one should start a True North group and how to do so. In addition, they discuss the importance of setting ground rules and norms, and offer suggestions for how to get through the bonding process during the first few meetings. This frank assessment of what their groups offer and how they must be structured lends the process credence, but readers who have never heard of True North groups will need to catch up very quickly to gain useful insights. Though it may be difficult for peo
About the Author
Bill George is a professor of management practice at Harvard Business School and the former chairman and CEO of Medtronic Inc. He is the author of Authentic Leadership, True North, Finding Your True North, and 7 Lessons for Leading in Crisis.
Doug Baker is president of the True North Groups Institute and former senior vice president for Human Resources of American Express Financial Advisors.
Foreword author Richard Leider is ranked by Forbes as one of the top 5 most respected executive coaches and by Linkage as one of the Top 50 executive coaches in America. He is the author of the bestsellers The Power of Purpose and Repacking Your Bags.
Top Customer Reviews
Personal and Leadership Development
by Bill George and Doug Baker is about
forming cohesive small groups to support
us during challenging times. Small group
membership requires a willingness to
challenge life's assumptions, comfort
with self-reflection, the ability to
listen and the sustained ability to
commit time to a common effort.
Ideal candidates have a sense of humor
about life, they like small group interaction
and are good listeners , as well as
Individual small groups possess common norms.
Examples of these norms are openness, trust,
respecting uniqueness, empathy, withholding
judgment, providing constructive suggestions
and attendance. Barriers to group cohesiveness
are lack of member commitment, absence of
suitable boundaries, dominating behaviors,
lack of sharing and the violation of group
High performing groups usually have good attendance,
high levels of trust, adherence to explicit norms,
meaningful discussion topics, regular retreats or
meetings and a periodic group assessment. On occasion,
groups struggle for reform for a variety of reasons.
i.e. new blood is needed, people quit,the group
segments into one or more splinter subgroups.
Early in the life of a True North Group ,
members may meet to build intimacy and trust.
Each may discuss early life experiences,
obstacles in life, self-awareness issues,
values, passions, motivations, talents
and personal relationships.
Bill George and Doug Baker have established a
True North Groups Institute to support individual
True North Group efforts. Institute leaders are
available to support facilitation of the formation
of new True North Groups among individuals
and within organizations of varying
There is a help line support to enhance the
effectiveness of existing groups. A registry
exists for professional facilitators to assist
in new group formation and performance. There
is an extensive bibliography with authoritative
Overall, Bill George and Doug Baker have crafted
a very useful book for conveying the essential
elements of small group formation, as well as
the practical implementation problems which need
to be addressed at various juncture points where
small groups meet and debate.
Small group formation and interpersonal
interaction are difficult hurdles for
organizations to traverse. The guidelines
in True North Groups make this process of
group formation much easier with a
step-by-step implementation scheme and
a thorough delineation of classic pitfalls.
The methodologies explained in this book
are suited ideally for new system projects
in data processing organizations, as well
as human resource efforts at encouraging
small group formation in corporate
organizations, as well as governmental
organizations. The precepts in this book
could be extremely helpful in crafting a
budgetary framework for Congressional groups
meeting later this year.
Professional negotiators could utilize the
methodologies outlined to manage small group
issues at the neighborhood or regional level
in places like Afghanistan and Iraq.
Credits: First Published on Blogcritics
Bill Wiersma --Author, The Big AHA and The Power of Professionalism (2011)